Update 4/25: Ruth’s Chris has agreed to give back the money after a federal announcement that those who misuse the funds will be invesitgated and after hundreds of thousands petitioned for the money to be given back.
Now that Shake Shack has agreed to give back the $10 million they took from small businesses, it’s time to talk about Ruth’s Chris Steak House. To be quite honest, I am not a regular at Ruth’s Chris and have only been there once for a wine dinner.
Regardless – the fact they took $20 million (double the maximum) from the small businesses PPP from taxpayers is also deplorable behavior. Perhaps Ruth’s Chris does not care that people are about to lose their livelihood, I don’t know.
Shake Shack CEO Danny Meyer wrote on LinkedIn that he didn’t intend to take money from small businesses and thought there would be enough, however that’s hard to believe considering that the money was always going to be limited in the first place.
Several chefs rightfully criticized the fact that Shake Shack was able to take the money at all.
The moral ground for Ruth’s Chris to keep the money has now been exposed as Shake Shack gave back what they took and no doubt this is leading for calls for a boycott of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Judd Legum has taken a deep dive into Ruth’s Chris and I suggest you read it: https://popular.info/p/a-raw-deal
Obviously there is a bigger Congress issue at bay as well. The small business loan fund is clearly flawed and we need action to demand that the next round of funds which is about to pass actually gets to the small businesses who need them.
Hopefully that happens.